How to easily Identify Revised Dimensions in SOLIDWORKS [VIDEO]

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated May 22, 2017


Learn how to easily track revised SOLIDWORKS dimensions by enabling an option that highlights dimensions on a drawing that have changed since it was last saved.

  1. Have you ever been in a situation where a change has been made to one of your models (especially by someone else), but the drawing was not updated until the details of the change have been long since forgotten or have not been communicated?
  2. Has your design ever been revised but the drawing was forgotten?
  3. Have you ever wished that SOLIDWORKS could tell you that a dimension in your drawing had changed since the last time it was saved?

If you have ever wished for any of these things, then I have good news for you!

Revised SOLIDWORKS Dimensions shaded a different colour

The highlighted 100 dimension used to be something else

If you go to Tools > Options, then under the System Options tab, you select Colors from the list on the left, you will find an oft-overlooked check mark option called “Use specified color for changed drawing dimensions on open” or as it could be interpreted: If a dimension has changed on this drawing since the last time it was opened, make it ____ colour (the colour can be selected in the list as Drawings, Changed Dimensions).

Let’s see this function in action:

As you can see, the dimension[s] that changed since the last save are highlighted. The colour is temporary, if you save the drawing, then close and reopen it, the colour will return to normal. Therefore, I would suggest making your revision while the dimension is indicated so you know what the change was. If you simply save and close the drawing without noting what the change was, then the record of what changed will be lost – unless you are using a revision control software, such as PDM.

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).